Unless the players and owners and their attorneys are teasing us beyond belief, there is a deal on the table and it's only being fine tuned as we speak. Well, not literally this early, but talks resume today with mediator Arthur Boylan expected back in the fold. You know that feeling when you're near a donut shop, and you smell the rings of deliciousness, but for whatever reason, you can't get there (traffic, empty wallet, late to work)? Insert any other food reference here--pizza, or anything fried come to mind as well. The point is that we are so close to a deal, but alas, we are not there just yet. And there are a few stumbling blocks as we wake up on Monday morning. Here are some stories and takes on the current state of negotiations:
AP source: Judge expected in NY for NFL talks - seattlepi.com
Talks to end the NFL lockout will resume with the court-appointed mediator in New York on Monday and could continue through Thursday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on Sunday on condition of anonymity, because the discussions are supposed to remain confidential. The mediator, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, originally had ordered representatives of the league's owners and players to meet with him Tuesday in Minneapolis. Now Boylan is expected to arrive in New York on Monday to oversee talks aimed at ending the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. The owners have a special meeting set for Thursday in Atlanta, where they potentially could ratify a new deal — if one is reached by then. Any agreement also must be voted on by groups of players, including the named plaintiffs in a federal antitrust suit against the league, and the NFL Players Association's 32 team representatives.
Whew, that's it in a nutshell. But wait, there's more....
Labor update: Last-minute issues lead to more talks early next week - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
All reports indicate that the owners and players are on the one-yard line when it comes to ending the current lockout and bringing a new collective bargaining agreement and full season to fruition, but as the fans of every bad team knows, possessions on the one-yard line provide no scoring guarantees. There are still several outstanding issues to be dealt with, which is why the owners and players will meet with mediator Judge Arthur Boylan on Tuesday (and possibly Monday) in Washington, D.C or New York.
NFLPA reaches out to plaintiffs to discuss lawsuit settlement | National Football Post
The NFL Players Association is taking the next step toward resolving the Tom Brady vs. the NFL antitrust class-action federal lawsuit. According to ESPN, the decertified union has started reaching out to the plaintiffs regarding a possible settlement. That would need to happen to halt the lockout.
Here's hoping these players won't use the side of their brain that gets bashed in every time they make contact with another player. This is no time to have hard heads, guys. But ultimately, I think they know that.
Osi talks to Mara about his happiness - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
Osi Umenyiora’s happiness with his contract will not only have an impact on the New York Giants but it could also affect a deal between the NFL owners and players.
This is interesting because the players and teams are not supposed to have contact with each other. But in this case, it's necessary, because Osi is one of the ten plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and because Mara is one of the top dog NFL owners.
NFL teams will start shopping frenzy for best players available as soon as lockout ends
Will Daniel Snyder send his private plane to bring Santonio Holmes to Redskins Park? Sources say he is the 'Skins No. 1 free-agent target. Will the Texans offer Nnamdi Asomugha a deal better than Darrelle Revis' four-year $46 million contract? Will the long-awaited trade of Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals finally happen? Not that we blame him, but is Carson Palmer serious that will retire rather than play for the Bengals? Cincy is prepared to start rookie Andy Dalton.
Hang on to your hats, guys, this is going to be fun. Let's just hope the Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins lose bidding wars to anyone they want to sign.
Top 10 false impressions of lockout - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
This was an expected demand from the players, and one that won them negotiating points with many fans. But, believe me, the players know the league’s revenue streams without going through every franchise’s financial ledgers. The players will ultimately agree to a deal, possibly as long as 10 years, without really seeing every team’s financial bottom line.
I posted the tenth impression out of 10, because I think it's interesting to note--I mean, we haven't heard a thing about books being opened since talks resumed these last few weeks, have we?
Giants' Bradshaw can be a beast: Fan's take - Yahoo! Sports
For a guy not ranked in the NFL Network's Top 100 Players for 2011, New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw is pretty good. But can he be great?
I realize the Yahoo contributor network is akin to a competing blog, but I thought this was worthy of mentioning to get you guys thinking about our free agents again. I'm honestly not sure where I stand on Bradshaw. On the one hand, he can be a game-changer. On the other hand, he can be a game-changer for the other team. This has been debated here before, but we could see which way talks between Bradshaw and the Giants go before the end of the month. What do you guys think?
P.S. Hey Ed, stop reading this and enjoy your vacation!